Slipknot are infamous for the wacky shit they got up to in the early days. While they were touring to promote their ground-breaking debut album, The Nine’s antics were just as wild as their music. Stories of members huffing a dead crow before performing and setting one another on fire are well-known – but one more obscure anecdote is when percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan almost lost an eye on-stage.
“Clown slammed his face into a mic stand,” Slipknot singer Corey Taylor told a crowd during a live Q&A in 2012, “and opened up his face. Not his eye, his face. I look over, and he is stumbling towards the back of the stage and shit is just shooting out of his eyeball.” With a wicked grin, the frontman then adds: “We were playing Eyeless, so the irony is not lost on me.”
Corey doesn’t provide a timeframe for the grisly injury, but since no video footage of the accident exists and the band were playing a cut from as far back as 1999’s Slipknot, we can assume it happened in the band’s hectic heyday. Another testament to the madness of that era came when Corey revealed that the show did not stop, despite Slipknot’s founder being taken to a hospital mid-set.
“[Clown] told me later, ‘It was the most surreal thing: I look up, and I’m watching Slipknot play,’” The Great Big Mouth continued to a chorus of laughs. “‘They shot me full of painkillers and I just go, “Fuck, our band is awesome!”’ – out of the back of an ambulance, for fuck’s sake!”
Ultimately, according to Corey, it took 27 stitches to close the gash in Clown’s face. “That’s like a gunshot wound!” the singer exclaimed. But the ordeal didn’t end there.
“This fucking guy comes walking out, and he’s one of the grossest human beings on the planet,” Corey said. “He’s got a tan leather jacket on, no shirt, a scarf and these pants that I swear to God were made of the remnants of children’s blankies. He is tripping balls […] and he just comes right for Clown. Clown had just pulled the fucking bandage off – this asshole licks the wound.”
The sickened gasp of the crowd Corey was talking to speaks for all of us. Mercifully though, despite turning as white as a sheet as his drugged-out tormentor simply walked off, the percussionist didn’t contract some horrible disease from the encounter (we think). As for the man who thought it was a good idea to lick open wounds for fun, we really cannot vouch for how well he’s doing right now.